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Tag Archive | "Measles"

Health Department urges vaccination against measles


From the Kent County Health Department

Public health officials across Michigan continue to monitor an increasing number of measles cases in the Southeast part of the state. While there are no current cases in Kent County, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is urging vaccination against the disease to those who are not vaccinated or otherwise immune to Measles.

Measles is a very contagious disease that can have lifelong health complications. Measles is spread through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. The virus can live for up to two hours in the air. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90 percent of the people close to that person will also get the disease unless they are vaccinated or immune. A person who has had the disease in the past, has been vaccinated, or who was born before 1957 is considered to be immune.

Symptoms of the measles usually appear 10-12 days after exposure. Early symptoms of the measles include fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. Rash and fever are the defining symptoms of measles and usually occur four days following the early symptoms. The rash generally starts on the face and proceeds down the body and can persist for several days.

Infected individuals are contagious from four days before the rash appears until four to five days after it becomes visible.

People who are at highest risk for severe illness include:

– Infants and children younger than 5 years

– Adults 20 years or over

– Pregnant women

– People with compromised immune systems

“The best way for a person to protect themselves against measles is by getting the MMR vaccine,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for KCHD. The MMR vaccine, which prevents measles, mumps and rubella is about 97 percent effective for those who have had both doses of the vaccine. 

“In those rare instances when a vaccinated individual gets the disease, they will experience much milder symptoms and will be much less likely to spread measles,” he added.

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Michigan measles cases reach 15;


health officials urge protection through vaccination

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has confirmed 15 cases of measles in Michigan so far in 2018, the highest level the state has seen since 1994 when 26 cases were reported.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable respiratory infection that can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis and death. The illness has a 10–21 day incubation period and initially presents with a high fever, red eyes, cough, runny nose, photophobia and is followed by a red, raised body rash starting on the head and face that then progresses to the rest of the body. Individuals may be contagious for a few days before they present with symptoms, which increases the potential of exposing others to the infection.

As of Oct. 6, 142 measles cases have been confirmed throughout the U.S. with many of the cases connected to international travel. Measles outbreaks have been reported throughout western Europe including in Romania, France, Greece and Italy. In addition, Israel’s Ministry of Health recently reported more than 1,300 measles patients, including a toddler who died from the illness. The ministry believes that the disease was imported by tourists and visitors who infected an unvaccinated population, largely among the nation’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities.

“The increases in measles cases being reported drives home the importance of being up-to- date on vaccines,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS Chief Medical Executive. “Immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.”

Because measles is easily spread, vaccination is the best protection against the disease. Successful prevention and control of measles requires high levels of immunity in all communities, sometimes referred to as “herd immunity.”

The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. Adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of the vaccine. The first of two routine childhood measles vaccine doses is given at 12 months of age. A second vaccine dose is given before the start of kindergarten.

For international travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated against measles. Measles vaccine, or other acceptable documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons travelling internationally.

In an effort to help parents protect their children from serious vaccine-preventable diseases, MDHHS is participating in the I Vaccinate campaign. I Vaccinate provides the facts parents need to make informed decisions about vaccinations. For more information about immunizations and the I Vaccinate campaign, visit IVaccinate.org.

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MDCH Reminds residents to vaccinate against measles


This is the skin of a patient after 3 days of measles infection. Treated at a New York hospital. Photo from CDC.gov.

This is the skin of a patient after 3 days of measles infection. Treated at a New York hospital. Photo from CDC.gov.

Following the recent confirmation of two measles cases in the Traverse City area, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is reminding all residents to protect themselves against the disease by making certain they are up to date on their vaccines.

Michigan is now among 23 states that have reported cases of measles in 2014. The Michigan cases were unvaccinated and were exposed to measles during travel in the Philippines. Additional cases are under investigation.

“Although the once common disease is now a rarity in the United States, Measles can spread when it reaches a community where groups of people are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the MDCH. “The progress made here in the U.S. may be threatened by the high incidence of measles elsewhere in the world. To protect against outbreaks and stop the disease from widely spreading in the U.S., we need to succeed in our efforts to keep immunization rates high.”

From 2001-2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was 60. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been more than 600 cases reported this year in the U.S., and the vast majority of cases have been among persons who had no history of vaccination against measles.

The Philippines is experiencing a very large and ongoing measles outbreak, with more than 50,000 measles cases and more than 100 measles-related deaths reported this year. Many of the cases in the U.S. this year have been traced to travel in or contact with the Philippines. Measles also continues to be common in many other parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease that can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. Measles illness involves a high fever, conjunctivitis (red, inflamed eyelid membranes), cough, runny nose, photophobia, and a generalized red, raised body rash starting on the head and face and progressing to the rest of the body. Because measles is highly communicable, successful prevention and control requires high levels of immunity in all communities.

The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. The first of two routine childhood measles vaccine doses is given at 12 months of age. For international travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated against measles. The vaccination, or documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons travelling internationally.

 

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